Darning for stress-relief
I have been suffering from a lot of stress and anxiety this year and whilst I’m feeling a lot better now I am trying to ensure that I don’t end up back in a bad place. Part of my therapy is to spend more time doing things I enjoy and find relaxing.
I have always enjoyed hand sewing even though I wouldn’t class myself as particularly neat. It’s relaxing and I enjoy making small objects as well as needlepoint. I stopped crafting earlier in the year because at the time uncompleted projects just seemed to add to my stress levels. I also struggle to see details in the dim light of the low wattage energy saving light bulbs. I literally had a “light bulb moment” and decided to invest in a daylight-bulb lamp. This has enabled me to start crafting again.
Several months ago I decided to throw out all the holey or torn socks and underwear. They got put into a bag and have just sat there waiting for me to do something with them. Bearing in mind that I am not going to be buying any new clothes next year I decided to to practice mending on the old socks. It didn’t matter if I messed up because the socks were going to be thrown anyway.
I have an old darning mushroom like this one which I inherited from my gran because it fascinated me. I have mended the odd toe hole but it has spent most of the last two decades sat in my sewing box. Most online instructions suggest using darning wool for socks, this is relatively expensive for large amounts of mending and a bit too thick for the thin socks I wear. I just got ordinary matching cotton and began darning. There are many online tutorials on how to darn by more experienced menders than myself so I won’t go into details.
Over the last few weeks I have repaired around 20 or so socks. I haven’t repaired socks that were uncomfortable or had loose elastic as that would be pointless. The socks with small holes are quite comfortable and the repairs are barely noticeable. I haven’t worn the ones yet that have more extensive repairs.
It is a mindful exercise which I have found really enjoyable. Not only does it help me concentrate on the present moment but I get a real sense of satisfaction when I am able to bring an item in use. I have expanded onto other items of underwear. I have learnt how to mend tiny holes that appear in t-shirt fabric and building up my confidence to be able to tackle some larger items.
I would recommend taking up clothes mending as a new hobby to anyone that likes hand sewing.